DMU students given 'head start' in sport industry despite lockdown

Business Management in Sport MSc students have gained insight into the global sport industry during lockdown thanks to virtual networking Q&A sessions.

When the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of sport fixtures and events around the world, Dr Heather Dichter at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) made the most of the increased availability of sport industry professionals.

Using her connections in the field, Dr Dichter arranged a series of virtual networking Q&A sessions to give students insight into different areas within the sport industry.

Guest speakers so far have included Australian skeleton athlete and 2018 Olympian Jackie Narracott, a member of Under Armour’s global events team, Matthew Hochberg, the founder of Hochberg Sports Marketing in the USA, which focuses on socially-conscious sport sponsorship, and Dave de-Beger from DMU Sport.

Jackie Narracott Olympics article image

(Guest speaker Jackie Narracott photographed by Heather Dichter at the 2018 Winter Olympics, PyeongChang)

Dr Dichter said: “Sport professionals typically have very busy schedules. The pandemic provided an opportunity for our students to network with a greater variety of people in the industry from all over the world.

“It’s a chance for them to find out what life in different roles is really like and to develop their international connections. One of the focuses of the degree programme is sport from a global perspective, so it’s fantastic that we’ve been able to maintain this despite the circumstances.”

Jackie Narracott commented: "I really enjoyed talking to the students and giving them an insight to a different side of elite sport."

Business Management in Sport student Harriet Dean said: “The sessions have been very interesting and insightful into different areas of the sports industry. Two of the speakers have careers that are similar to what I want to do, so getting to speak to them during and after the Q&A was very helpful.”

24-year-old student Kavita Bulsara said: “It’s useful knowing what I can do in order to enter the industry once I’ve finished my master’s course. It’s been interesting learning about the different fields the guest speakers specialised in within the sport industry and we got a glimpse into how they’ve achieved this.

“I was able to ask questions that I’ve always felt either shy or embarrassed to ask, but as a result I’ve actually learned a lot and it’s given us a head start.”

For 31-year-old Russian student Vladislav Kusovlev, the sessions were ‘awesome’.

He said: “All of the speakers were interesting in their own way. I’m hoping to go into sport marketing, so the session from Under Armour was particularly memorable. Their professional look at the present and future of the sport industry was fascinating.

“These classes certainly expanded my horizons.”

The Business Management in Sport MSc is an interdisciplinary postgraduate degree, allowing students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds to build on their knowledge and prepare for a career in the sport industry. 

Dr Dichter said: “The variety of speakers has really helped the students recognise the options available to them and the pathways into the sport industry. I really appreciate that so many people in sport are willing to take the time to share their insight with DMU’s students.”

Posted on Friday 17 July 2020

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